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The ambitious plan to convert a portion of the Santa Monica Airport into green space took a major step forward this week, with the removal of airplane parking from the southeast corner of the facility.

The six-acre site along Bundy Drive will be tied into the adjacent Santa Monica Airport Park, which currently features a dog play area and a soccer field.  It is the first phase of an eventual 12-acre expansion of the park, which will also incorporate an additional airport property to the west.

Earlier this year, the Santa Monica's City Council commissioned landscape architecture firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios to oversee the planning and design of the new park space.

The project was made possible in July 2015 due to the expiration of a 30-year agreement between Santa Monica and the Federal Aviation Administration which required that the city provide airplane parking along the southern perimeter of the airport.  A city official stated that some aircraft have been relocated to other areas of the airport, while others have been placed at alternate facilities.

In a related event, the Santa Monica City Council also voted last week to include the expansion of Santa Monica Airport Park as a Priority Park Project for the Los Angeles Countywide Comprehensive Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment Report.  The report will become the basis for a potential Los Angeles Countywide Parks Bond Measure that could earmark tax revneue to support park expansion on former airport land.

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Studio Gang-Designed Tower Proposed in Chinatown

The 26-story building would rise at 643 N. Spring Street.
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A curving mixed-use tower designed by Studio Gang is set to rise in Chinatown.

The project, first reported by Curbed, calls for replacing a series of small commercial at 643 N. Spring Street with a 26-story, 270-foot-tall building that would feature 300 apartments, 149 hotel rooms, and public open space.